The Orsay 6 in 1 travel bag is named after the evolving Musée d'Orsay and its equally transformative history.
Once the Gare d'Orsay railway station and hotel in 1898, it evolved into a WWII mailing centre, an Orson Welles film set, and finally, Le Musée d'Orsay.
Today, the museum houses the largest collection of Impressionist and post-Impressionist masterpieces in the world, by painters including Berthe Morisot, Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne, Seurat, Sisley, Gauguin, and Van Gogh. The architectural inspiration for the 1898 building's design was considered to be an "anachronism" appearing classic outside, while masking the cutting edge railway technology inside.
Similarly, the design of the Orsay convertible bag is classically timeless, while hideaway rings lay modernly button-tucked inside, ready to adapt for any voyage.
While the creation of this leather bag happened in 2017, its true foundation comes from the mid-late 1980s.
As a young child, from Monday through Friday, I would watch my older sisters leave me at home to go to school. Naturally, this caused eruptions of loud, long, and naughty separation anxiety tantrums.
I. WAS. NOT. HAVING. IT.
In all honesty, this is probably why I don't want kids. I had so much unyielding energy, most adults couldn't and didn't know how to handle me. In an alternate universe, if I did have a child, karma would be waiting to torture me by giving me the child that I was. Oh the horror. lol. I digress.
With a resume of raising 11 children of his own - keenly observing my hyperactive energy - my babysitter, Lolo ("Grandpa" in the Filipino dialect, Tagalog), knew something had to be done, and fast.
To run my gas tank low, multiple times a week, he would put twenty-five cents in my little palm, support my toddler body onto the giant MTA #26 bus steps, which led to the bus driver I would proudly pay. The amused driver would take my quarter, drop it in his change box and drive us from East Hollywood to the historical street, old Broadway, in Downtown LA, California.
With Lolo by my side, I spent years focusing attention on appreciating these knackered, yet ornately designed palatial theaters. The street and the remnants of this bygone era was incredibly beautiful. But it also was old, rundown, dirty, and an absolutely marvelous place for a child to spend energy exercising historical imagination, wild and free.
Lolo was a calm-tempered, emotional genius that saved the rest of my family from the grief of encountering my antics - rest his soul. Unbeknownst to him, this time and exposure to the classical world would shape the very fiber of my future creations.
These invaluable granddaddy-granddaughter excursions are some of the deepest stylistic roots at the creative center of Pelt And Post handmade bags.
25 years later - less wild and a lot more free - I went independently to Europe for a month. There I was, full-circle, exercising imagination with art and architecture. I gathered new source material to build on, all the while, feeling guided by the nurturing spirit of Lolo beside me.
Inspired, I wondered what this new decade of my 30s would be filled with, and with whom.
I remember thinking,"Who I will become and who I will share this future with? Eventually, I resigned myself to the idea that there is someone special out there just like me. I know it, because I am proof of it. I don't know when, but I hope to meet him soon."
Then, I also remembered the advice of a couple of friends that said,"Your 30s are the years you really know yourself. In your 20s, you're still figuring out what you want in life, lost, making a lot of good mistakes to learn from. By 33, you'll have your feet on the ground and know where you're going."
Basking in the glow of high hopes and creative inspiration for a life well-lived, I made my way to the museum gift shop to find a special token to remember this experience by. After a short search, I found the item sitting in a dimly lit, glass casing. This Orsay experience was punctuated by piece of jewelry with a reflection of two cranes connected in a kiss and a wing, love and friendship - twin hearts in a ring.
I left Europe refreshed, full of zest, and ready for what was to come.
A year later, I met my "twin heart, mirrored crane" unexpectedly while traveling. As luck would have it, we were both scheduled to work on a project on-location in Joshua Tree, CA. We spent that work weekend discovering many delightful things about one another, including our preferences for Sweet Baby Rays Honey BBQ Sauce. We've been inseparable ever since.
Four blossoming years after that, we got married in the mountains of Yosemite National Park, atop a nature-made cathedral. We honeymooned in Paris, explored the whole of the city and Le Musée d'Orsay together.
Many travel adventures later, we birthed a business baby called Pelt And Post.
"I purchased this last year and LOVE it so much! I've worn it literally around the world - from Paris to Shanghai, Seattle to Tecate Mexico and more. It's wonderful!" - Susan I., (February 2020).
Sharing the same sentiment as Susan, my own Orsay travel bag has been a wonderful travel companion throughout Paris, France; the UK; Norway; and of course, throughout the US.
Not just a handmade bag, but a fulfilling lifestyle - inside and out, where will it take you?
Cristina & Gabriel